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What Homeowners Should Know: Documenting Possessions for Insurance Claims

The team at Bishop Builders has helped many families with storm damage restoration in Dallas and the greater DFW metro area in the aftermath of catastrophic events. Damages from tornadoes, wind, fire, storms...we've seen in all. One thing that is clear is that preparing the best you can from these kinds of events can really be helpful in the aftermath.


In order to process and get the benefits you pay for from your homeowner's insurance it is pertinent to document, document, document. This cannot be understated. The more proof you have of the state of your home and belongings before the damage is done, the better. Insurance adjusters will claim that damage is wear and tear when it is clearly storm damage, and the best way to combat this is with documentation.


Although it may sound overwhelming, taking a couple of hours out of your day can really save you a lot of headaches...and money...down the road. Here are our tips for documenting your possessions for insurance claims and a downloadable spreadsheet to help.


image about insurance documentation: documenting possesions for insurance claims

Why is insurance documentation important?

A thorough inventory of your possessions serves as a bridge between loss and recovery. It provides evidence of the condition and value of your possessions before any damage occurs. This proof is vital when filing an insurance claim, as it helps establish the extent of the loss and the compensation you are entitled to receive.


Without proper documentation, it becomes challenging to prove the value of your belongings and the severity of the damage. By thoroughly documenting your possessions, you can verify their existence and condition, preventing any accusations of fraudulent attempts to claim compensation for nonexistent or pre-existing damages.


Insurance documentation offers peace of mind. Knowing that you have a detailed record of your belongings and their value provides a sense of security in the event of a disaster. It allows you to navigate the claims process more efficiently and ensures you receive the compensation you deserve.


For example, if an insurance adjuster claims that damage was wear and tear and not covered, you can show photos of the condition of that part of the home before the catastrophe and prove your case.


Types of Insurance Documentation For Homeowners

Begin by creating a comprehensive list of all your belongings. This includes furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry, appliances, and even smaller items like kitchen utensils and decor.


Want a template to help you with this? Here's a spreadsheet for documenting your belongings.


Home Inventory for Home Owner's Insurance
.xlsx
Download XLSX • 10KB

Inventory Lists

Having an inventory list streamlines the claims process and facilitates accurate valuations. For each item on your list, provide detailed descriptions. Include information such as brand, model, serial number, purchase date, and any other relevant details that help paint a clear picture of the item's value and characteristics.


Valuing Your Possessions

Assign a value to each item on your inventory. This value should reflect the cost of replacing the item with a similar one in today's market. Research online or consult experts to ensure your valuations are accurate.


Keep copies of receipts for significant purchases, such as electronics, appliances, and jewelry. These receipts provide proof of ownership and help establish the value of your belongings. If you have high-value items, consider professional apprasials. This ensures accurate valuations.


Photographs and Videos

Accompany your written inventory with photographs and videos. Capture images of each item from multiple angles, ensuring that distinctive features are documented. These visual records serve as powerful evidence of ownership and condition.


Warranty information

Keep track of warranties, service contracts, and product manuals. These documents can assist in establishing the value of your possessions and provide evidence of their condition.


Tips For Organizing and Maintaining Insurance Documentation

Creating a detailed inventory of your possessions requires time and effort, but it's really helpful in the insurance claims process. By providing descriptions, valuations, photographs, videos, organized records, digital backups, proof of purchase, and regular updates, you lay the groundwork for fair compensation and a smoother recovery journey.


Organizing Your Inventory

Organize your inventory in a structured manner, grouping items by category and providing a clear reference for each item's location. This organization makes it easier for both you and your insurer to navigate the inventory.


You can also set up a naming convention and use descriptive titles that include the item name, purchase date, and any other relevant details. This will make it easier to search and retrieve specific items if needed.


Keep Receipts and Proof of Purchase

Whenever possible, include receipts, invoices, or proof of purchase alongside your inventory. These documents provide additional evidence of ownership and the value you've assigned to your belongings. Label them clearly and store them in labeled folders or binders. This labeling system ensures quick and easy retrieval when needed.


Digital Records

While physical records are valuable, consider digitizing your inventory as well. Store digital copies in a secure cloud service, ensuring that your efforts are backed up and accessible even in the event of further disasters.


Regular Updates

Your inventory isn't a static document—it's a living record that should be updated regularly. As you acquire new items or dispose of old ones, ensure your inventory remains accurate and up to date.


Establish a review schedule and set reminders to review and update your insurance documentation regularly. Aim to do this at least once a year or whenever significant changes occur in your possessions or home.


Documenting Your Possessions As a Homeowner

Proper insurance documentation is a vital aspect of protecting your assets and ensuring a smooth claims process. By following the tips and best practices outlined in this guide, you can create comprehensive and effective documentation that will serve you well in the event of a disaster.


Investing a few hours now can save you significant headaches and financial losses in the future. Take the time to document your possessions and protect what matters most.


Remember, while we can't control the forces of nature, we can control how well we prepare. With the right information, resources, and determination, we can face the uncertainties with confidence.


At Bishop Builders, we are experts in storm damage renovations in Dallas and North Texas. We can help you get your home and your life back to normal following storm damage to your home. Contact us any time for questions or to get a quote from one of experienced team members.

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The Bishop Builders Team

Chris Bishop and Dennis Hall

Chris Bishop brings over 30 years of expertise to the construction industry in Texas. With a comprehensive understanding of construction techniques, materials, and project management, Chris oversees every aspect of the building process, ensuring exceptional quality and attention to detail.

 

Dennis Hall is the strategic business operations specialist. Dennis plays a pivotal role in the success and growth of Bishop Builders with his adept handling of contracts, seamless communication with clients, and financial management. Together, Chris and Dennis form a dynamic partnership, combining construction expertise with astute business acumen to deliver outstanding results.

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